William James Howard Kunstler. The way things are going, he’ll soon be out of business as America’s sole fiery Jeremiah of the peak oil apocalypse. This piece (hat tip to Sean) is a good read: Wake Up, America. We’re Driving Toward Disaster.
Kunstler stresses a need for honesty. Here are other things needing honest consideration:
Roof gardens aren’t going to save America. Agriculture — if it’s not going to be fueled by oil or slave labor — is not a hobby you engage in after work and on weekends. Millions of Americans live on plots of land unsuitable for productive gardening even for snacks, much less staple foods. Obviously, we’ve got some policy to work out, so we can have a food production system in the future that’s more than just corporate factory farming with a smiling yuppie face.
China and other rising nations aren’t going to step back and make it easy for America to change itself. They aren’t going to say, “Look at what the Americans are doing — voluntarily lowering their standard of living! Such innovators!” They’ll burp and say, “Pass the oil can, I need another hit.” They’re going to keep building and sprawling; their citizens are going to get the iPhone 6.0 before anyone in America does. Can our younger generation deal with that?
A war won’t fix things, and even a metaphorical war may not work. Can America really beat swords into plowshares? I don’t know. It was born from war, subjugated the continent via war, expanded its global influence via war. It’s unclear if it can ever get war of out its heart, or out of its mouth. Can American leaders even frame our national integrity in any other way than “a patriotic struggle against the forces of evil” or “a just war spreading our freedoms”? We may find a War on Terror to be worth scorning, and even an honest War for Oil to be objectionable — but a War For a Green Planet? That might one day prove a seductive slogan for the soft-intentioned yet hardcore American soul. This is the invisible worm in our soil that ought to be searched for as we prepare for our new garden. It may stunt any new thing we plant.